Chanel Samson’s EP The Beginning was recorded and produced by Felix Hagan of Felix Hagan and the Family. The two have a passion for “Circus Rock” in common, and are hoping to establish it as a legitimate genre. A Californian girl, Chanel travelled to England to study music at Paul McCartney’s Performing Arts School, LIPA. Liverpool was a big inspiration for her work, and provided many stories for her to write about.
The Beginning deals with such stories in a quirky and intelligent way. Chanel Samson deals with serious topics like heartbreak and pregnancy scares, and adds a positive twist to everything. Every song on the EP is so upbeat and cheery (not to mention in-your-face), which, for me, makes it incredibly unique. It’s really refreshing to have some relatable and poignant lyrics that aren’t set to music that’s made to depress. Chanel’s music is good for the soul – for me, it turned an ordinary dull Wednesday afternoon into an energetic and productive day, because it really works as a mood enhancer.
The first track, ‘FU Matthew’, discusses a relationship gone sour. Instead of crying over spilt milk, Chanel takes the high road and gives the song a great mocking tone. The entire song is like a fake pout, just to enrage Matthew. The melody is insanely catchy, and Chanel’s voice is so strange – it’s just brilliant. I know I’m going to have problems trying to get this song out of my head when I’m trying to sleep at night!
‘This Old Guy’ is a very reflective track, but it’s also quite tongue-in-cheek. The lyrics describe a situation in which Chanel was seduced by a married man, and how she spurned his advances. This is also another catchy tune, and I absolutely love the backing vocals which really bring the song together in my opinion. It’s clear from this song that Chanel is a very talented writer, and is more in touch with her emotions and personality than most musicians.
‘Little Red Dot’ is perhaps the most unusual song on the EP; I don’t believe I’ve ever heard a song that deals with a topic quite like this one, and in so cheeky a manner. The line “Waiting for that little red dot to tell me it’s ok” is immediately surprising and memorable. Couple that with an insanely likeable melody and harmonic progression, and you’ve got a dazzling song overall. I particularly like the bridge in which Chanel imitates a conversation between herself and her lover – putting on a deep voice when singing her lover’s parts – so funny and eccentric! The brass instruments also help make this song what it is; the inclusion of them is definitely a good thing.
‘Worth the Gold’ is the closing track, and ends the EP on a positive note. Unlike the previous songs, it’s not mocking. Instead, it’s very straightforward and honest – it’s a feel-good song with an awesome beat, a great chorus, and fantastic backing music. It’s really difficult not to sing along with this one; Chanel really knows how to tie together different melodic hooks in order to make an incredibly addictive song.
The Beginning is one of those rare EPs which makes you feel like you actually know the singer when you’re done listening to it. Every song is seriously good, and I would recommend it to anyone.
The Beginning will be released on 23 April 2015.